Peter Rollins and J.R. Daniel Kirk: “Deconstruction, not Destruction”

I have posted several thoughts on Peter Rollins and his engulfing “pyro-theology,” a theology that attempts to burn down the structures of faith around us, in the hopes that we may find the true meaning in the flames and ashes. After starting J.R. Daniels new book, Jesus I Have I Loved, but Paul? I see a similarity that I thought may be helpful for interpreting Rollins’ flaming faith.

Pyro-theology attempts to embrace doubt, anxiety, and the realities that come along with everyday bustle of life, and even more so, that are neglected by the modern church. In a sense, pyro-theology is merely a deconstruction of the Christian faith, with the hope that the vital elements of Christian life under the floorboards may be uncovered by burning down the house.

But several critics have accused Rollins of a detrimental deconstruction, that is, a deconstruction for destruction’s sake. However, J.R. Daniel Kirk reminds us that deconstruction is not destruction by any means.

Deconstruction is an attempt to break through hardened structures and traditions for the purpose of reengaging the stimulating, life-giving substance that gave rise to the now encrusted traditions . . . a punching through the rocks in order to open up a well from which to draw life-giving waters. . .

Whether it be a wall that needs to be crumbled, or a building that needs to be set ablaze, we should all keep a fuse and a gallon of gasoline handy when it comes to our faith; not for destruction’s sake, but to see if it is worthy of resurrection.

2 thoughts on “Peter Rollins and J.R. Daniel Kirk: “Deconstruction, not Destruction”

  1. Thanks for this. But I am actually writing for a different reason. Love how you have used the fist image on your site (i.e. the effect you put on it). Because its originally from the Insurrection tour I guess its OK that I steal it! Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment, and please don’t sue me for stealing you picture (had no idea that it was from your tour though, I got it from Jesus Radicals).

      I am genuinely interested in what you have to say, Peter, as you may have seen from my various posts on your work and how it has affected my life. So this begs the question, “what are you writting for?” I am still working through your ideas, and I want to have an accurate interpretation. What better way to do that than to hear from the man himself!

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